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Clearing Minor Violations off Your Disciplinary Record


By Scot Chadwick

​Over the past month, I’ve been reporting on the progress of SB 538, legislation that would expand the obligation of professional licensees to notify their licensing board when they run afoul of the criminal law or another state’s licensing body. That measure is now just one step away from the governor’s desk, needing only Senate approval of amendments added by the House, which could occur in the near future.

What I haven’t mentioned is that one of the House amendments could benefit physicians and other licensees who have a minor transgression on their disciplinary record. Should the bill become law, certain violations could be expunged (erased) from a licensee’s record, provided that certain conditions have been met.

Let’s start with the types of violations that would be eligible for erasure. They fall into one of two categories: 
  1. failure to complete continuing education requirements or practicing for six months or less on a lapsed license, registration, certificate or permit. At least four years must have elapsed since the final disposition of the disciplinary record at the time of application for expungement; and 
  2. any violation, except those which resulted in license suspension or revocation, in which at least 10 years have elapsed since the final disposition of the disciplinary record at the time of application for expungement.

In other words, only minor violations would be eligible for expungement, and some time needs to have gone by since the problem was resolved. Anything serious enough to have warranted a license suspension or revocation stays on a licensee’s disciplinary record permanently.

There are some other conditions that would have to be met in order for a licensee to apply to have a disciplinary black mark removed. Specifically: 
  1. the licensee must make written application for expungement not earlier than four years from the final disposition of the disciplinary record; 
  2. the disciplinary record must be the only disciplinary record that the licensee has with either the commissioner or a licensing board or commission under the commissioner's jurisdiction; 
  3. the licensee must not be the subject of an active investigation related to professional or occupational conduct; 
  4. the licensee must not be in a current disciplinary status, and any fees or fines assessed must be paid in full; and 
  5. the licensee must not have had a disciplinary record previously expunged by the commissioner. You only get one bite at this apple.

As I said, the bill may be enacted soon, and if so we’ll let you know and provide all the information you need to initiate the process of requesting expungement of that old minor violation on your disciplinary record.

In the meantime, you can reach me with comments or questions at schadwick@pamedsoc.org or (717) 558-7814. Or, if you’d like to share your thoughts more broadly, feel free to leave a comment below.​

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